Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy Senate President has promised oil-bearing communities in Nigeria that he would push for an increase in the equity shares of host communities to five per cent in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
This is contained in a statement by Mr Ima Niboro Director, Communications and Media Strategy Delta APC Gubernatorial Campaign Organisation on Sunday in Abuja.
Niboro said that Omo-Agege, also Delta All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for 2023 poll, said this at a meeting with a group, ‘The Struggle Platform’; pushing for improved condition of Ijaws in oil-bearing communities in the Niger-Delta.
He said that the Ijaws and other oil-producing communities that lay “golden egg” had been abandoned by successive administrations in the state.
“This is an unfortunate situation which has led to untold poverty and deprivation in those communities.
“I believe that government has been unfair to the Ijaw people, given their contribution to the economy of this country. And given their contribution to the struggle for what comes to Delta.
“Not too long ago, the issue of the PIB, now PIA came up. And there was a debate as to what should be the entitlement of host communities.
“As the Deputy Senate President and Leader of the Southern Senators, I had caused a meeting to be held in my house where we took a position that at the very least, we should go for five per cent,” he said.
Omo-Agege added: “Negotiations this time became very serious. While some of us were fighting that at the very least, we go with the five per cent that had been passed in the House of Representatives.
“They were able to permeate the Senate through some of our leaders who felt that three per cent is okay. That we should take three per cent first. If the House could take it at five per cent, why not us in the Senate.”
Omo-Agege promised to change the narrative and judiciously utilise resources of the state for the benefit of all, if elected as the governor.